"Designing the PDF Sampler"Written by Howard Hopkins
After recently signing a six ebook deal with Atlantic Bridge Publishing (www.atlanticbridge.net), I quickly realized promotion would be a whole different ball game. I was used to promoting my Lance Howard print westerns to certain areas, and, indeed, I would be able to adapt a number of techniques to ebooks: bookmarks, promocards, postcards, etc. Having a bit of experience with ebooks previously, however, I soon realized I would need a somewhat different mindset for novels, which spanned range from horror to ripper/western and YA series horror. Many avenues used for print wouldn't work as well and would have to be modified, with many new ideas instituted.
The first of these new ides was PDF Sampler. After a little thought, I decided why not take a print technique I'd used, that of printing out a number of pages and binding them together with a color copy of cover as a give away, and transpose it for online promotion.
To make your PDF Sampler, you will need either your word processor or Powerpoint, or some program that allows you to use text and graphics together. The sampler will be nothing too complicated or fancy so MS Word will do, if you are comfortable using that.
The Sampler should be short, to point and snappy enough to attract attention to your new ebook release. My short story horror anthology DARK HARBORS had what I considered most eye-catching cover, so I chose that book. I used cover for first page.(In Word use insert picture from file) On second page I wanted a teaser, something short and mysterious to go along with tone of book, something that would encourage a reader to keep going. I came up with phrase: "Where sins of past are never buried..." and gave it a page of its own. On next page I listed publisher url, then on next title and author.
RECORDING THE AUTHOR SOUND BYTEWritten by Howard Hopkins
Promoting on internet can sometimes feel like a cold, detached endeavor. There are scores of places to list a new ebook, request a review or drop a press release. But most contact with potential readers comes in form of printed words on a screen. While that's what you are trying to sell to begin with, your printed words on a screen, a certain level of intimacy is missing. Printed words carry tone in reader's mind, their interpretation of author's phrasing and rhythm. That's all well and good but how do you create that elusive intimacy with your reader that goes beyond sound of their own thoughts? Or entice new readers to "hear" your words in your voice when they read?
For print authors--and sometimes e-authors--there is author signing. Of course, this is somewhat limited by area and tour itinerary. Even so, most e-authors can't afford author tours and luxury of reading to their readers and potential readers is limited.
So why not create a sound byte those readers can download, either when they buy book or before? Let them hear your voice, so you are more than just a few printed words on a screen. Become three-dimensional in their mind, get close up and in mono.
Creating a sound byte is not difficult and in fact can be constructed even on older computers. I created one using Windat on Windows 3.11, but it can be done with sound recorder on later Win versions.